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Is NYU worth it for Canadians?


mothercat

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mothercat
  • Applicant

Hi, just wanted to see what people think about applying to schools like NYU and around New York/San Fran if you are interested in big law and wanted to recruit there from Canada?

Obviously cost is a lot higher so that is a deterrent, but has anyone had first-hand experience with the typical scholarships offered or ways of financing this? I am only considering applying as I had an LSAC fee waiver and have demonstrated financial need so not too sure how that translates with bursaries/scholarships.

I also have not heard back from any Canadian schools and am a little worried so am considering my options...

Any information is greatly appreciated and I wish everyone the best of luck!

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scooter
  • Law Student

NYU admissions are more competitive than any Canadian school

As for costs and scholarships, some people here may know a bit, but I would recommend looking at some American forums/resources

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chaboywb
  • Lawyer

NYU is a top six American law school (along with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia and Chicago - although I see that these rankings are somewhat outdated). It goes without saying that, if your goal is U.S. big law, you are better off going to NYU (or any T14 law school) than any Canadian law school. It's hardly even comparable.

But you aren't getting into NYU if you can't get into Canadian law schools. The median for NYU admissions in 2023 was 3.78/169. Only UofT comes close to having similar admission standards.

You should be very skeptical of U.S. schools outside the T14. There are good law schools that are not T14 but they predominantly serve their own region versus being a pathway to big law. As you get further down the rankings, there are outright scams masquerading as law schools. The scholarships that they offer are often contingent on top tier 1L performance and will result in outrageous tuition when you don't hit the requirements.

Cynically, I don't think it's worth going to any U.S. school with lower admission standards than Canadian schools.

Edited by chaboywb
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Yogurt Baron
1 hour ago, mothercat said:

Hi, just wanted to see what people think about applying to schools like NYU and around New York/San Fran if you are interested in big law and wanted to recruit there from Canada?

Obviously cost is a lot higher so that is a deterrent, but has anyone had first-hand experience with the typical scholarships offered or ways of financing this? I am only considering applying as I had an LSAC fee waiver and have demonstrated financial need so not too sure how that translates with bursaries/scholarships.

I also have not heard back from any Canadian schools and am a little worried so am considering my options...

Any information is greatly appreciated and I wish everyone the best of luck!

Agreed with @chaboywb.

I'm not sure what exactly is going on in the bolded, but for me, when I used to ask questions like this, it was because I had a really bad American law school's brochure in hand and wanted reassurance that sure, there are plenty of great job opportunities if you go to NYU, or a school near NYU, or Wyoming, or wherever. NYU, near NYU, Wyoming---all basically the same, right? If that's what's going on here, please accept a gentle no. If you can't get into a Canadian school, you can't get into NYU, and you cannot magically-think the University of San Francisco, median LSAT 152, into being "like NYU".

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Renerik
  • Law Student

Last month you posted that you had a 3.66 GPA and a 151 LSAT. I wouldn't waste the time applying to NYU, it'd be a near instant rejection.

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bigtruss
  • Lawyer
6 hours ago, chaboywb said:

NYU is a top six American law school (along with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia and Chicago - although I see that these rankings are somewhat outdated). It goes without saying that, if your goal is U.S. big law, you are better off going to NYU (or any T14 law school) than any Canadian law school. It's hardly even comparable.

But you aren't getting into NYU if you can't get into Canadian law schools. The median for NYU admissions in 2023 was 3.78/169. Only UofT comes close to having similar admission standards.

You should be very skeptical of U.S. schools outside the T14. There are good law schools that are not T14 but they predominantly serve their own region versus being a pathway to big law. As you get further down the rankings, there are outright scams masquerading as law schools. The scholarships that they offer are often contingent on top tier 1L performance and will result in outrageous tuition when you don't hit the requirements.

Cynically, I don't think it's worth going to any U.S. school with lower admission standards than Canadian schools.

Went to a T14. Not quite as cynical but generally agree and would say this is good advice. Worth adding imo that reputable U.S. schools outside the T14 (think T20 schools like WashU, UCLA, Texas, etc.) are placing a similar proportion of the class in U.S. biglaw to what U of T is placing in Canadian biglaw. They're definitely more regional than T14 schools but still send a decent chunk of the class to NY kind of like how UBC would send people to biglaw in Toronto.

Also, just to clarify, NYU medians for 2023 were 3.90 and 172, which are pretty standard across the the T14 now (e.g., Cornell, normally ranked 13th, has the same medians). 

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mothercat
  • Applicant

Hi, thanks for the constructive criticism. I think what I am getting at is more that the LSAC fee waiver allows you to apply to some US schools free of charge, so I wanted to use this resource.

I did re-take the LSAT this January, in a much better position as there was the absence of family tragedy and I had actual time to study so we'll see what happens.

NYU was an example and I was interested in locations such as New York or San Francisco, not comparing the two in terms of perceived merit. I know it is a reach but as my goal is McGill, the odds honestly seem more favourable abroad. Maybe I am wasting my time, but it is not taking me more than a day to apply.

 

Optimistic nonetheless, 

Thank you

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Phaedrus
  • Lawyer
44 minutes ago, mothercat said:

 I think what I am getting at is more that the LSAC fee waiver allows you to apply to some US schools free of charge, so I wanted to use this resource.

Speaking of LSAC, the worst mistake I made was selecting "yes" when prompted if I wanted my stats/info disclosed to US law schools (and to my primary e-mail account). No, Lewis & Clark Law School, I don't want to attend your 'no minimum LSAT required' law school for $150,000 USD. I don't care if you send me 20 more e-mails, it's not going to happen. 

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SmallBart
  • Law School Admit

Paying for CAS will hopefully be the worst financial mistake of my life. Even if I had managed an LSAT score like I PTed and gotten into Columbia I might never have financially recovered from living the Big Apple dream. International student loans are extremely high interest and 15% APR on a US-sized student loan debt is a lot of money. NY Big Law salaries are ludicrous enough that it might work out but you'd be betting the farm, and you realistically you aren't making that kind of money unless you graduate from an upper tier school.

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bigtruss
  • Lawyer
On 1/17/2024 at 6:57 AM, mothercat said:

Hi, thanks for the constructive criticism. I think what I am getting at is more that the LSAC fee waiver allows you to apply to some US schools free of charge, so I wanted to use this resource.

I did re-take the LSAT this January, in a much better position as there was the absence of family tragedy and I had actual time to study so we'll see what happens.

NYU was an example and I was interested in locations such as New York or San Francisco, not comparing the two in terms of perceived merit. I know it is a reach but as my goal is McGill, the odds honestly seem more favourable abroad. Maybe I am wasting my time, but it is not taking me more than a day to apply.

 

Optimistic nonetheless, 

Thank you

Of course and thanks for taking the constructive criticism so well. I would just flag two additional things based on what you said. First, some schools will offer you fee waivers (you still have to pay the CAS fee but not the school's application fee so you won't be applying for free), others will offer you fee and CAS waivers (much smaller list, don't remember any reputable schools in your target markets doing so when I applied not too long ago). There is therefore unlikely to be overlap between schools where you can apply for free, schools that are not predatory, and schools that place a significant number of students in your target market.

Second, If NYC and the Bay Area are the markets that appeal to you and you're looking for options that are backup plans for McGill, it will be hard to find schools that meet these two criteria without taking the risk that you will perform well in law school and/or interview well at OCI. McGill's average admission stats are 3.80/165. U.S. schools with lower medians tend to place worse in U.S. biglaw than McGill does in Canadian biglaw. Backup options to McGill that are legitimate schools would be places like St. John's and Cardozo in NYC and the non-Berkeley UCs for SF. They're all expensive relative to Canadian schools and none of them are near-guarantees for biglaw like a T14 school. 

None of this is to say you shouldn't give this a shot, it's just to help you look at the situation realistically and frame things in a way that won't leave you feeling regretful down the road. One school that I think would particularly be worth a shot based on what you said is Fordham. Over half the class gets biglaw, 89% pass the bar the first time and 88% secure full-time law jobs. Medians are 3.75/167, so there's a chance you get in there without getting into McGill. 

Best of luck! 

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mothercat
  • Applicant
11 hours ago, bigtruss said:

Of course and thanks for taking the constructive criticism so well. I would just flag two additional things based on what you said. First, some schools will offer you fee waivers (you still have to pay the CAS fee but not the school's application fee so you won't be applying for free), others will offer you fee and CAS waivers (much smaller list, don't remember any reputable schools in your target markets doing so when I applied not too long ago). There is therefore unlikely to be overlap between schools where you can apply for free, schools that are not predatory, and schools that place a significant number of students in your target market.

Second, If NYC and the Bay Area are the markets that appeal to you and you're looking for options that are backup plans for McGill, it will be hard to find schools that meet these two criteria without taking the risk that you will perform well in law school and/or interview well at OCI. McGill's average admission stats are 3.80/165. U.S. schools with lower medians tend to place worse in U.S. biglaw than McGill does in Canadian biglaw. Backup options to McGill that are legitimate schools would be places like St. John's and Cardozo in NYC and the non-Berkeley UCs for SF. They're all expensive relative to Canadian schools and none of them are near-guarantees for biglaw like a T14 school. 

None of this is to say you shouldn't give this a shot, it's just to help you look at the situation realistically and frame things in a way that won't leave you feeling regretful down the road. One school that I think would particularly be worth a shot based on what you said is Fordham. Over half the class gets biglaw, 89% pass the bar the first time and 88% secure full-time law jobs. Medians are 3.75/167, so there's a chance you get in there without getting into McGill. 

Best of luck! 

Thank you for taking the time to help me out with this! It is so tricky deciding where to apply as I have not been in Canada/North America too long and the whole process has been a massive learning curve. I will definitely wait to hear back on the Jan LSAT and look into this. Canadian schools in my top 3 are definitely still my main priority, but I just have anxiety about not applying widely enough and do not want to be in this position in a year. 

Thanks again!

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AHappyLawyer
  • Lawyer

Consider too that schools like McGill, UofT, Osgoode to an extent place plenty of people into US Biglaw, whether that's straight from OCI or a few years into your career practicing in Canadian Biglaw. I cannot stress enough the financial advantages of doing it this way versus accruing a large loan from a US school (like many of US colleagues have). 

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StoneMason
  • Law Student
31 minutes ago, AHappyLawyer said:

Consider too that schools like McGill, UofT, Osgoode to an extent place plenty of people into US Biglaw, whether that's straight from OCI or a few years into your career practicing in Canadian Biglaw. I cannot stress enough the financial advantages of doing it this way versus accruing a large loan from a US school (like many of US colleagues have). 

You are not wrong. Landing US big law from a Canadian school may be one of best returns on investment after accounting for Canadian fees and US rates.

That being said, anyone considering NYU (or any other T-14) should know it is significantly harder to land US big law from even the best Canadian schools versus their American counterparts. Take UofT for example: it consistently places the most students in US big law at roughly 20% of its class. That is still significantly less than what an NYU would place (>50%). As a 0L weighing their options, one might be inclined to think the difference is not that big – but the reality is that if you are at NYU or another similar ranked school, your chances of landing US big law are multiple times more than a UofT student's. This translates into mediocre and below average students from NYU safely landing US big law whereas UofT students are required to be in the top third of their class to even be considered. 

As far as working on Bay St. and then lateraling over is concerned, you are still losing several years of US pay AND there is simply not enough data to support this being a likely outcome. Sure – during the COVID boom there were a lot of people who lateraled over, but to rely on that data in today's market is simply foolish. It is possible for sure – but a potential student should not be deciding which school to attend with dreams of lateraling over.  

The general principle has been and should continue to be: go to school where you want to practice. If its US or bust, go study in the US. If you want to stay in Canada, go to a Canadian school. We should not be encouraging US big law hopefuls to pick a Canadian school over a T-6 if their goal is US big law. 

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